Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Archive for the ‘How do I get there, from here?’ Category

Eek, a Mouth

Monday, March 13th, 2006

OK, OK, I know I have to write something… something, anything… ack I don’t have anything to write about. I have been eating the same thing every day. At night I read or I go to The Vine. Since I got home, this is what it’s all been about. Oh, and I got stiffed on the lottery again. Oh well. Fuckers.

I did do something exciting today. I booked airline tickets from Bilbao to Jerez for my Fall Spain trip. I fear I am a little too excited about getting back to Spain, since it is six months away, and already this year is going by kind of fast. I will be 41 on Saturday. Forty fucking one! How the hell did that happen? And if I am too excited about Spain then the six months in between will fly too fast. But, I guess that will happen anyway. As you can see, I really don’t have anything to write about. I need a dream about Britt Daniel to wake me up.

I am looking forward to getting back to Venice, too, though my eating schedule doesn’t allow for quite enough pizza. What an exciting life I lead. Someone, anyone, send me a friggen topic to write about because the river’s run dry. But not circumcision because I don’t know anything about that.


Show Her the Money

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

The other day, the guy who handles my IRA retirement account stuff, called me up to ask me how much money I am saving every year. This kind of call always catches me a little off-guard. I can totally answer if asked am I eating enough green vegetables (no) or if possibly I am drinking more wine than is good for me (yes.) If you were to ask me, right now, my five favorite records of the month, I could answer in two seconds. I know how many hours I am working a month, and I know, sort of, how much I have in the bank. And I do know, with a few minutes of thought, how much I am saving and/or how much I’ve got saved. Still, when IRA guy asked me how much I’ve stashed in my 401K this year, I was like, uh, three thousand? That is the wrong answer, I totally underestimated under the strain of being put on the spot, but he was like “you’ve got to bump that up to $10,000 per year.”

Let’s just say right here, that I have definitely invested a little more than $3000 in my future this year, but that the number also falls fairly short of $10,000. I don’t make very much money, and to save $10,000 a year would, well, make my life really, really boring. Also, do I REALLY believe in a future that far away? I am not so sure I do. I want to believe I’ll be around in 2030, but I can’t imagine it. I really can’t imagine that I could live that long. So wouldn’t it be a drag if I put everything cool and fun on hold now, and saved every friggin’ penny, for no reason because I am going to die kind of young anyway?

It sucks knowing I will probably never own a house (at least in a place I’d want to live) and that there may not be any social security left should I even make it close to 67 or however old you have to be these days to get it. And it’s not like I am not saving anything – I am, but how can you live now, and also save enough for later, in case you make it that far?

I am lucky that I have no hardship in my life and no debt. My life is good, and I know how to live this way within the confines of my income. When I think of my mom raising me and my brothers alone on a fraction of what I make (and I only need take care of myself) it makes me feel, well, weird, and whiny, but I am not trying to be whiny. I am just trying to figure out how to strike a balance, without feeling guilty or frivolous, between what I spend on music and travel and wine (which is what keeps me going) and what I put into a tax-deferred void for my questionable future.

It’s nice, I guess, that I get a call from time to time from someone who seems to care, for a forty dollar administration fee, about my future. I just want more. A crystal ball or a winning lottery ticket would be a nice start.

Meet Me in St. Louis

Monday, June 6th, 2005

There is an interesting thread going on over on the slowtalk message board. It’s a thread about moving – not to other countries (for once), but to other places here in the U.S.

It’s no secret to anyone how much I love Ocean Beach. It’s been three years, and I still love it. I love the ocean, I love the vibe, and I love the funkiness of this little beach town.

There is one huge problem. I can’t buy a house here. I’m sorry, but I am not going to pay just under a million bucks for a half-rotting beach cottage. I’m not only not gonna pay it, I CAN’T pay it. Mostly because I don’t have any money.

One thing that we sometimes forget here in Ripoffville, is that there are lots of other places to live where you can actually afford to buy a nice, big house. Then you can paint the walls purple if you want, something you could never do in a rental (though when I was eight my mom painted the trim in my room in our rented house purple, just to make me happy.)

As I get older this whole idea of buying a home presses on my brain more and more. Do I really want to be an old lady still renting? What if the world doesn’t really blow up like I think it will? What if it KEEPS GOING? Then I’ll be up it without a paddle.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, eventually I will move, just so I can buy a house.

There are a few things that are very important to me – having live music venues around (now I have to drive up to L.A. all the time for that, which really sucks, and is expensive, plus there are a lot of L.A. people there); having wine around, like decent wine shops, and a bar or two with good wine, otherwise I’ll be spending too much time at home; having like-minded people around, even if it’s only three or four; hmmm… what else? I guess a Whole Foods type place. And someplace, anyplace, that I can sit by a body of water.

The cool thing is I can pretty much take my job anywhere.

I’m thinking Austin might be cool, just because of the music scene. St. Louis also appeals to me, and so do the Carolinas because I can live by the ocean there. I am telling you, when you start to think about this stuff, it starts to get crazy, because all the wanderlust in me starts coming out. It’s unstoppable.

For now, it is just talking to myself. But it is an intriguing dialog…

Leaving Slowly on a Jet Plane

Saturday, March 5th, 2005

The packing is done, and the floors clean. I think I am too tired to be excited quite yet, about the journey that is right in front of me. Tired from a lot of work and not enough sleep. I am ready to be awake now.

Now it is almost time for the trip. I’ll be in the air, or waiting to be in the air, for twenty-four hours straight.

It’s almost better sometimes this way. A lot of stimulus right before you go to make you forget about the trip, so that when you finally get there you are like, holy shit, I am fucking here!

And I can swear all I want now that I own this website. That kind of freedom is uber-liberating, even when I felt like I could get away with a lot of swearing before.

Can I just say, how happy I am that I have the life I live and the friends I have? It has been done, but I have new friends now, and you know who you are. My last entry was called Lucky. I am the lucky one. I am seriously an extremely lucky person, flaws and all.

Next up, Palermo. A place I have never been. I’ll breathe deep that cigarette scent when I find it next. Cigarettes, and warm pastries, car exhaust and coffee. I am thinking that is what Palermo smells like.


Thursday, March 3rd, 2005

I woke up in a cold sweat this morning. Somewhere between sleep deprivation and anticipation, I think.

We are headed into a great freeze. Snow on Mt. Etna. Red wine weather.

Yesterday I talked to one of my customers, who told me he was going to Italy for his honeymoon. They will be in Venice the same time as me – Easter week. With NO hotel reservation! A quick search on Venere told me they were up it without a paddle.

I emailed my friend Amelia who owns Ca’ Bernardi B & B, and by some twist of fate she just had a cancellation.

Are these honeymooners lucky or what? They are so lucky, they have no idea. And they get ME to show them around.

So with this theme, Luck, I give you the lyrics to one of my absolute favorite Radiohead songs. Just imagine three guitars gently crushing your head when you read them.


I’m on a roll,
I’m on a roll this time
I feel my luck could change.

Kill me Sarah,
kill me again with love,
it’s gonna be a glorious day.

Pull me out of the aircrash,
Pull me out of the lake,
I’m your superhero,
we are standing on the edge.

The head of state has called for me by name
but I don’t have time for him.
It’s gonna be a glorious day!
I feel my luck could change.

Pull me out of the aircrash,
Pull me out of the lake,
I’m your superhero,
we are standing on the edge.
We are standing on the edge.

The Mighty…

Friday, February 18th, 2005

I’ve finally decided on, and registered the domain name for my website.

After months of deliberation, it’s going to be….


It’s done, don’t try to talk me out of it.

Other than that, not much, just working too much and getting ready for Sicily. Two and a half weeks to go.

Friday, and the Living is Easy

Friday, February 4th, 2005

Last night, I was sitting in The Vine with a couple of the guys who work there, and the sun went down and it was beautiful. For a second I was sort of bummed there will probably be no more rain, because I remember lots of happy afternoons sitting in The Vine watching the rain fall. But then I remembered how sick of the rain I was getting.

Now it is beautiful here. The skies are deep blue, the Santa Ana winds are blowing all the palm trees around. At night I can still hear the waves crashing. It is the time in-between Winter and Spring.

In one month from Sunday I leave for Italy. My Rome crash-pad has dissolved, so now I am obsessed with finding a cool spot to stay for my three or four days there. My problem is, I keep thinking of those heady days when it was 2200 Lire to the dollar. 50 Euro was $40. Or something like that. And it seems to be high season already. So of course, me being me, I am like “why pay that much for a hotel when I can have a whole apartment?”

Right now I have got it down to a place in Testaccio right on the river and two places in Trastevere. I am waiting to hear back – I hope the place in Testaccio is available because it looks hella cool. When I make that final plan, I will report back.

Nothing going on here this weekend except housecleaning, garage sale-ing, cliff sitting, and wine bar hanging. Oh, and some preliminary packing. I can’t wait for four o’clock.

Ukrainian Poptart

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

I think I spend too much time alone these days. There are so many great things about being alone, but if you spend too much time there, you sort of forget about other stuff. Like, speaking. I think I listen to music and the voices in my head too much and also, I spend too much time looking through my fuschia bangs, because when I look through them everything looks pink. If you have the right music on, it’s like you are on drugs even when you are not. It’s pretty cool, let me tell you, and absolutely worth the money and eventual hair-loss it costs you in the end.

But this is not what I meant to write about tonight.

Today I talked to the guy who manages my IRA and he said the bus is about to hit a wall, and everyone in the world is on that bus.

Today I saw on amazon.com that today is the last day to order, if you want that stuff by Christmas.

Today I couldn’t stop thinking about the liver of the guy in that movie Super Size Me.

Today I realized, I sometimes wish I didn’t have any communication with the world whatsoever.

Today I realized my current dream of traveling and blogging through Russia might be crazy, because they don’t make it easy for travelers there, and shake you down for cash and shit.

But I know in the end, everything will stay the same as before. Including the dream. So get ready Moscow muthas, for 2006.

When Pickpocketing Becomes OK Karma

Sunday, December 5th, 2004

I just got done reading David Sedaris’s “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” a collection of really funny essays about random shit and also, about living in Paris and learning to speak French. I don’t read so much anymore as I am way too addicted to the internet for that, and when I do I usually read travel stuff or stuff I know will put me to sleep. “Me Talk Pretty Some Day” is not boring and not about travel, and I loved it, which means I should probably start turning off my computer more, something I have known for some time, actually.

Anyhow there is one essay in this book where David Sedaris is on the Paris Metro and some American starts telling his wife/date/fuck/whatever about how they needed to watch out, because David Sedaris is a PICKPOCKET. In English, on a train, loudly, the guy goes on to talk about how a pickpocket got him here or there and how you had to watch “them” every minute. So David Sedaris just stands there going “wha tha fa” and doesn’t say anything because he doesn’t want it to turn into a “handshake moment.”

So after I read this I start thinking about something I read on the slowtalk message board, how a regular poster had been on the bus in Florence with her two nieces, and some loud America pointed at the children and screamed to his companions, “WATCH OUT, THEY’RE PICKPOCKETS!.” Clueless and crew, wandering cities around the world, so stupid they call EVERYONE a pickpocket. Like no one else speaks English.

This kind of shit gets my panties all in a twist. So I started thinking, hey, the next time I go to Europe I am going to become a Silent American Non-Pickpocketer Who Fucks With Stupid Americans. I will go from metro to metro, piazza to piazza, holding onto the poles of subways menacingly and eyeing giant video cameras with slitted, knowing eyes. I will walk behind people a little too close, and when they turn around I will smile and shrug. When they call me a pickpocket I will just glare at someone else like I don’t understand anything, not my own language even.

But really this won’t cure the problem of people fearful of pickpocketers, and in the long run (I know myself) I would want to do something more, like SAY something. Especially if I’ve had a glass of wine or two. I’d end up saying something like I was on the streetcar in San Francisco, if someone like this happened to board and started spouting off about someone in front of them being a pickpocketer. Like “ARE YOU A FUCKING MORON? HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN ANYWHERE BEFORE? NEVER RIDDEN ON THE SUBWAY OR BUS? DO YOU NOT HAVE EARS? EYES? WHY IS IT, YOU ONLY HAVE A BIG, FAT, LOUD MOUTH?”

I’m not sure what good any of this would do, but it would be fun to hassle some scared-of-pickpocketers-to-the-point-of-making-them-even-stupider tourists.
And maybe I could write about it, and then write the whole thing off.

Getting ready for Venice….

Friday, September 10th, 2004

The clock is ticking. I leave Wednesday for Atlanta and from there, head for Venice on the 20th. I am so not prepared. I haven’t even thought about it really, until, like, today. Weird, eh? I’m going back to Venice, and I’m not even thinking about what to pack. Except books – more on that, later.

Going back to Venice. It’s like going back to see an ex-boyfriend who you still like to sleep with sometimes, because it feels so nice and comfortable. I don’t get all hot and bothered about Venice like I used to. Now, it used to be home, it still is home, kind of. In a corner of my heart. But I am not peeing my pants with anxiety like I use to, I won’t be pressing my feet against the floor of the airplane trying to make it get there faster. Venice simply is, as I am, and we exist in harmony with an understanding of each other that goes deeper than lust.

This is a work trip, too, and if there is one thing that I am anxious about, it is the work. Venice is full of bookstores, and Chow! Venice is only in one of them. This after calls, faxes, emails, and visits from Ruth, my co-author. We are suppose to have an Italian distributor, but after a year they still don’t have books. Not our fault though… first, we sent a case and it sat in the post office four months and they did not pick them up, so they were (thankfully) returned. Then, our UK distributor refused to ship because of unpaid invoices going back to the time when I actually LIVED in Venice. Whateves, we were desperate enough to risk non-payment to get the books over there, so we shipped another case, this time to the distributor’s freight forwarder in New Jersey. Guess what? They still don’t have them! Why? The freight forwarder needs to get paid, that’s why.

So homies don’t pay their bills. So it’s been over a year, and Venice still doesn’t have books. Venice, who wants the book, who NEEDS the book.

So I am going over with a suitcase full of books. I am thinking I’ll put them everywhere – every book store (even if they don’t want, need or ask), every bar, every restaurant… I’ll leave copies lying around. I’ll go sit in the bar at the Danieli and read my own book from cover to cover. I’ll forget one in the bathroom at Harry’s and in the public restroom at San Bartolomeo. Anybody going to Venice and need a book?

And this brings us to another question. How do I not “out” myself? Like if I am reading, from cover to cover, my own book, and some tourists see me and ask me what up, and then maybe the owner of the place will send over a free grappa (which they often do) and the tourists see, will they think I am getting special perks and am not fit to live and will they go home and write on Fodors or somewhere that they saw one of the authors of Chow! Venice getting free stuff and my oh my isn’t that horrible?

Maybe it is not such a good idea to read my own book in public after all.

I am going to “out” myself to one place and it is a wine bar so it shouldn’t matter too much. I have to give a copy to Francesco and Andrea at La Cantina because there is no way things are going to change there, there is no way I am going to get better treatment there, and they already know my name. And I deserve at least that much from all this work.

With all the rest, they will be blissfully unaware, and da Ignazio, you had better watch out because I have heard your service is really sucking.